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2.12 Memorabilia

Mr. R Channabasavaiah
former Statistical Assitant

Of all the persons I have met and worked for, I would say Dr Raj Narain stands out. His knowledge was immense. He would be attentive to everything, he would assess every point of work and he knew every worker personally. He always wanted the research worker to be open minded, industrious and to strive towards perfection. When a mistake was noticed he would call all the persons involved so that they would understand and learn from it. He would gently say mistakes do occur; be cautious and don’t repeat it. It is wiser to take guidance than hide it. All the time he was smiling and would welcome any one any time, whatever the problem. He was so dynamic, nobody could sit by his side and be idle. The way he arranged the masses of data into tables and interpreted them was extraordinary. While with statisticians, he was a statistician yet, he was the topmost doctor among doctors. He would come with a book of statistics and give it to statisticians and ask them to explain a point. Later he would explain how he had understood it.

In the field, he was incomparable. His first priority was to the people with whom he would interact and get them to talk. There were days he worked as a secretary and even carried the petromax. He allowed total freedom to field workers and always stood by them and attended to their problems on priority. He set a very tight work schedule for himself and for the teams and often worked late into the night. Even in old age he worked hard. The last I saw him was in 1984 when he came to NTI as WHO short-time consultant. This time he was immersed in the implications of BCG scar disappearance. His life was dedicated to TB. He was living with his son in Canada and he told me of a TB control project he wanted that country to take up! Later, he died at Delhi while working at ICMR for BCG Trial

I would like to add Dr AK Chakraborty’s name along with Dr Raj Narain. Dr Chakraborty was also a scientist of high calibre and great dedication. His work potential was immense. He had an additional capacity in creating scientists out of others! I feel he has created many. He had a broad outlook. I benefited immensely. Even today after retirement he is busy in the field of TB.

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